What Causes Discolored Water?

March 11, 2016

discolored water

Discolored water can often have you questioning its quality. You may wonder if it’s safe and what’s causing it?

The most common complaints about abnormal water include:

Yellow, red, or orange water. This often indicates that you have rust in your water. Rust in your water can cause your water to be yellow, red, or orange because of the oxidation of the rust. Rust in your water should not cause health issues.

Green-blue water is usually caused by an issue with copper plumbing or brass fittings. Large amounts of copper in water can cause health problems. This issue needs to be remedied immediately.

Cloudy-milky water. This is usually the result of lots of tiny air bubbles suspended in the water. This can often happen often when colder water warms in your water heater. The bubbles usually clear on their own as the water warms up, according to the Kentucky American Water website.

Brown-yellow water during hot water usage only. If your cold water is clear, but the hot water is brown or yellow the problem lies in your water heater. Try turning your water heater off allowing it to cool. Then follow your owner’s manual to safely flush and fill the unit. Turn your unit back on after the flush and fill to see if the problem persists. If the problem persists, call A.J. Perri to determine your options including water heater replacement.

Spurts of brown/yellow water from tap. When you first turn on your faucet do you see short spurts of yellow or brown water for a minute or two then it clears? Your internal plumbing could be causing this. The zinc coating on the inside of the galvanized pipe is starting to wear. When the water in those pipes come in contact with the bare iron in your pipe the water will become discolored.

Black water. This could indicate a mold issue. Call a plumber to investigate.

Pure green water. This usually indicates algae is growing in your water supply.

If you’re ever concerned about what’s in your water feel free to reach out to customer support to ask one of our experts any of your plumbing questions. A.J. Perri is always glad to help.


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Last Updated: June 09, 2023